The wood wakes with a single thought: a blessing to some ulcerated crow pecking at fissures in the hoarfrost, by the woodpile, fissures cresting into being by nature of the wriggling things. Hoarfrost. Air hoar, depth hoar, surface hoar: the way the morning gussies and glints and affects, and window frost and frost flowers, the art of patterned lack, and rime that knows the world is a ship drawn by currents all turning cold. The house has central heat and air and transoms, blankets once engorged with a shivering child seeing frost flowers in the windows, flowers pressed by being seen between glass and the cold days. The porch lattice is still splintered where the robin struck it and where its ribs like lattice splintered while your boy watched astounded at this first sign that animals could be oblivious or suicidal.

RASTER JONES lives in South Carolina. This is his first published poem.